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A visit to Saint Anthony of Padua Church almost didn’t happen. When we arrived it was locked tight and Jim was bent on visiting what he remembered as one of the most beautiful churches he’d ever seen. His parents were married here in 1938. His mother attended the French Catholic School around the corner.  His cousin Jeanette lives nearby and probably still attends church here. Playing with his cousins at his grandmother’s house. Jim has so many memories of the older section of downtown North New Bedford.

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The parish office was in the building next to the church and we rang the bell and got permission from Father Murphy to go inside and take pictures. His first question? Did you attend mass this morning? We hadn’t  and he proceeded to tell us that churches, his included, are struggling because so many people don’t attend. He lectured us about our lack of attendance, but he allowed us in.

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The organ loft.

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A view of the ceiling.

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The Altar.


Each side of the church opened into alcoves where the Stations of the Cross are depicted in carved statues.

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The 12 Stations of the Cross are written in Latin as was the official language of the church even when I was a child.

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The statuary was amazing, like something you see in old European Cathedrals. Here an Angel holds the Shroud of Turin.

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The Communion rails were made of highly polished, carved wood.

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The podium of carved white marble. The columns are marble as well.

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I am not a church goer, but I can appreciate the beauty and the workmanship that went into the building of this gorgeous church while keeping in mind the hand tools used for such work 101 years ago.

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It would be nice to think a place of such beauty will last forever. I do hope it is professionally photographed to retain the essence of this magnificent edifice in the event something happens to this historical treasure.

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We decided to visit a nearby Art Museum which was displayed in two different buildings. One building was formerly the Star Department Store where Jim’ s grandmother worked as a retail clerk in Ladies Clothing.

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The small collection was mostly very modern pieces except for an exhibit of old photos.

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It was nice to walk around town on a Sunday because there is little traffic and ample parking space. DSC08016 (Copy)

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We kind of gasped at cigarette prices. Jim heard they just raised the price of cigarette tax by $3.00 a pack in Massachusetts.  It should help people break the habit. Hypnotism works best, I’m told.

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We enjoyed dinner with Donna and Bob. After snacks we had stuffed roasted vegtables, stuffed quahogs, and clam boil stew using up the leftovers from Friday.

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Bob roasted the leftover veggies from the feast in the barbecue.

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You could never leave the Parkers house hungry. Donna is an excellent cook and loves to feed people.

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  1. Beautiful Church. As I recall, St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things. Can you ask him to help me find my lost sunglasses : )


  2. I am so glad you got in to see this magnificent church!! Even though it was my childhood church, it still blows me away every time. Like you, I am not a very religious person now, but as a child I can tell you I loved looking up at all there is to see there – but especially at those angels in the clouds behind the altar. So many family memories here. And that Star Store was THE place! And my Aunt Rose (Jim’s grandmother) seemed like a glamour girl with her matching suits, heels and handbags which was the right fit for that place!

    • 2gadabout

      I love learning about Jim’s family. Every time we come, I learn something new. I would loved to have met Rose. She sounds like such a character in her gold Mustang and blonde wig. I keep taking notes.

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